Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A few things I'd like to remember from Russia

Peter the Great was 6'7".
St. Petersburg enjoys only 30 sunny days each year. We visited during three of them.
It stays light past 10 p.m. in July.
The Romanovs married German women.
The Romanovs married many women.
Serfs were freed by Czar Alexander two years before the American Emancipation Proclamation freed American slaves.
Bloody Sunday resulted from a peaceful protest by religious peasants.
One million died in Leningrad during the 900-day siege by the Nazis.
Peter the Great, who traveled with an entourage of 13 women, slayed his wife's lover and put his head in the square.
Lake Ladoga is the largest lake in Europe.
Onegin is the second largest lake in Europe.
Stalin secretly built a reservoir to give hydroelectric power to Moscow in 1941.
Kremlin means "fortress."
Great birch forests cover the landscape.
A ruble is a little less than a nickel.
Icons are painted on wood; frescoes are of stone.
Lacquer boxes are made of paper mache.
Vodka is taken very cold with pickles. Russian vodka is made of wheat and corn; Polish vodka is made of potatoes.
Czarina Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great, had expensive taste in palaces. She devoted her life to parties and to her own beauty.
Amber is a pine resin not a stone.
Rasputin washed up in a river two days after his murder by royal conspirators with the breath still in his lungs.

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